On June 19, 1997 two twin boys were born in the Dominican Republic. Their mother was tormented by their father. She moved to the house of her mother and filed for a protection order in the Dominican Republic. She then took steps to move her residency and her boys to the United States. She left her boys with her mother while she went to New York to establish residency. While she was gone, her ex-husband filed a custody order with the Dominican Court System claiming that she had abandoned the boys and left the country. The mother agreed to a temporary custody arrangement that would enable the boys to live with their father until she had established residency in New York.
When she returned to the Dominican Republic to visit the boys, she found out about the custody procedure that the father had initiated claiming that she had abandoned her boys. At that hearing, even though, the mother filed an appeal, the boys were given to their father with full custody.
Shortly after the custody hearing in the Dominican Republic, the father was arrested in 2002 in the Bronx New York for threatening to kill the mother. He gave the court system a false address to get bail and did not return until the December 9, 2002 hearing. During that time, the court was able to interview the wife and children extensively. It was clear from testimony from the boys that their mother and they themselves had been abused by their father. One incident left their mother in the hospital for a week. It is clear that the history of domestic abuse was not relayed to the Dominican Republic Court system which only heard the father’s view of the situation prior to making their determination.
The question before the court, since the father is now claiming that he resides in the Dominican Republic and the mother claims residency in New York, is which court has jurisdiction over the case at hand. Further, since the father has legal custody of the children in the Domincan Republic, he claims that while he was incarcerated, the mother illegally went to the Dominican Republic and kidnapped the boys. At the time of the custody hearing, the boys had been living with their mother and her new husband in the Bronx for a year. The school was visited and the boys are both excellent students and are happy in the home of their mother. When interviewed by court personnel, the boys stated that they were afraid of their father and did not want to return to live with him. They advised that one time the father got angry at the mother and hit one of the boys causing him to have visible injury to his head. They advised that they have been struck by their father in the past. They requested the opportunity to remain in the United States with their mother and new baby sibling. Sex crimes were not involved.
Still the court continued to discuss the options with the court in the Dominican Republic. They requested all of the documentation from the original case located there. What they discovered was alarming. They learned that 40% of the women in the Dominican Republic are victims of Domestic Violence and that there are no operating battered women’s shelters at all. They found out that the wife had filed for an order of protection and had been granted one, but that was not taken in to consideration at all when it came to who should retain custody of the children. In fact, the father’s allegation that she had abandoned the children did not answer the question as to why if she abandoned them, they were left in the care of their maternal grandmother. There were reported incidents when that children were with their maternal grandmother of the father showing up at the gates to her house screaming and holding a gun. None of these incidents were considered relevant to the courts of the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic court, did however, concede that the temporary custody agreement between the parents when the wife first moved to the United States from the Dominican Republic stated that the children would reside with their father only until the mother was settled in the United States and that at that point they would be reunited with her. Therefore, the courts of the Dominican Republic saw no issue with the Courts of New York taking over the issue of the custody in this country. The Supreme Court Integrated Domestic Violence part agreed with them and the case was remanded to the Integrated Domestic Violence Part of the Supreme Court of the state of New York.
The court finds that in light of the father’s continual violation of court orders and the fact that both the mother and the boys have resided in New York for more than a year that this case should be heard in the Supreme Court of New York Domestic Violence part. Custody at this point has been given to the wife. The husband is awaiting trial on a new domestic violence charge that is pending where he was the primary aggressor.
In many cases, it is difficult for a person to understand that incidents that occur within hearing of a child constitute neglect. A parent who threatens to kill the other parent is in effect neglecting the mental wellbeing of the child. Any act of outright domestic violence, hitting, slapping, pinching, verbal abuse, all constitute a criminal act. If they are done in front of a child then it constitutes neglect.
If you find yourself in a position that may be considered domestic violence or child neglect based on an incident of domestic violence, contact Steven Bilkis and Associates. At Steven Bilkis and Associates there are attorneys who are available to assist you, no matter what your case. Steven Bilkis and associates are qualified to handle any domestic violence needs.
Issues of law are constantly changing. A person who is not specifically trained in the law cannot begin to know what all of their rights are without the assistance of a professional. Here at Steven Bilkis and Associates, we provide New York Order of Protection Attorneys, New York Domestic Violence Lawyers, New York Assault Attorneys, and New York Criminal lawyers. New York Family Lawyers will stand by you and ensure that your rights are protected. New York Personal Injury Attorneys can argue your side and make sure that you and your loved ones are considered. We make sure that you are rightfully awarded compensation for your suffering.
Stephen Bilkis & Associates with its Domestic Violence Lawyers has convenient offices throughout the New York Metropolitan area including Corona, New York. Our Personal Injury Attorneys can provide you with advice to guide you through difficult situations. Without a Domestic Violence Lawyer you could lose precious compensation to help with your medical bills and the trauma to you and your loved ones following such a frightening experience. This is true even if the Attorney for the assailant has not adequately made their case. In addition to Personal Injury Law, Stephen Bilkis and Associates can recommend Criminal Lawyers who will protect your rights if you are ever arrested.